2022 Spring Mack Days – Week 9 Update
By angelamontana

Posted: May 23, 2022

Nine weeks of the 2022 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event has ended with a total of 21,013 lake trout entries being turned in by two hundred lake trout anglers out of the six hundred twenty-four anglers entered.  Fridays total was 95, Saturday 1002, and 586 on the last day of the event. Many anglers agree that this event had some very tough weather days. The best weather day of the last weekend was Sunday with very little breeze, lots of sun, and calmer waters.

A huge thank you goes to all of the anglers who make the events the success they are. They put in the time, energy, equipment, and the money that it takes to go out and compete in these events. 

Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for the Spring Event and goes to well deserving anglers in drawings, bonus amounts, tagged fish, etc. The events are used as a management tool to help increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope trout in Flathead Lake by decreasing the non-native lake trout numbers. 

Winning the Top Twenty Angler Category was Kolton Turner of Kalispell with a total of 1,582 weekend entries. His 18-day average was 71.61. Second place went to Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with 1,315 and a 62.06 avg. Third was Bob Turner with 1,268 with a 59.94 avg. Kolton and Bob both turned in perfect 100 scores on Saturday. Sam Cusker of Bigfork was 4th with 668 with a 35.17 avg, 5th Steven Benson of Spokane Valley with 640 and 31.94 avg with over 26 days of weekend fishing. 6th place went to Clint Speer of Kalispell who also turned in 640 over 27 fishing days, with a 31.72 avg. Seventh place goes to Mike Benson of Lonepine with 592 and a 30.33 avg, Larry Karper of Florence came in 8th with 528, with a 28.56 avg, 9th Jerry Benson of Plains 576 and 27.5 avg, 10th Travis Banyai of Lakeside with 508 and a 26.28 avg. Andy Reed of Kalispell came in 11th with 435, with a 23.94 avg, Tom Kemppainen of Columbia Falls was 12th with 426 and 23.17 avg, 13th was Scott Bombard of Missoula with 456 and a 22.83 avg, 14th was Hank McLeod of Kalispell with 408 and a 22.06 avg, 15th was Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 425 and a 21.11 avg, 16th was Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 385 and a 19.44 avg, 17th was Gene Corne of Kalispell with 378 and 18.56 avg, 18th was Larry Ludahl of Kalispell with 346 and a 17.78 avg, 19th was Bryan Long of Kalispell with 309 and 17.17 avg, and 20th was Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 300 and a 15.94 avg.

“The Captain” a lake trout valued at $10,000 did not come in at the end of any angler’s line-he is still roaming the lake along with the other high dollar tagged lake trout. Their tag numbers will be revalued and new high dollar tagged lake trout will be tagged right before the Fall Event. Anglers turning in tagged lake trout the last week were: Kathleen Bell of St. Ignatius $100 X 2 and one at $200, Bryan Long $100, Jack Kirkland $100, and Todd Morigeau of Polson $100.

Wyatt Best of Missoula won the 12 & Under Category with 11 entries.  There was a tie for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th with Gage Spring of Alberton, Tsimmeej Yang of Missoula, and Elsa Airhart of Kalispell each with 4 entries. 5th place is Martin Phan of Kalispell with 3.

Matt Guckenberg Jr of Kalispell won the 13-17 Category with 79. Brodie Smith of Kalispell is 2nd with 69, Thomas Airhart of Kalispell-11, Karson Cox of Charlo-6, and Otto Anderson of Columbia Falls had 5.

Lady angler Julie Perkins of Kalispell was first in the Ladies Category with 300, 2nd Connie Jones of Kalispell with 78, 3rd Rebecca Spring of Alberton with 18, 4th Kathleen Bell of St. Ignatius with 17, and Ia Thao of Missoula had 11 for 5th

Larry Ashwell took 1st in the 70 & Over with 425, 2nd Jack Kirkland with 385, Marty Herak of Polson with 88 was 3rd, 4th John Gauci of Florence with 44, and Paul Grove of Wyoming, IL was 5th with 38.

Spirit of the Event Awards-custom made bait knives by Bob Crowder of Thompson Falls-went to Clint Speers and Paul Groves.

Weekend winners were: $200-Brodie Smtih, $100-Matt Guckenberg Sr-Kalispell, Larry Karper, Bob Turner, and Jake North of Denton. 

Thank you again to everyone involved to make each fishing event a success!  Mark your calendars for the 2022 Fall Mack Days sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will begin 9/15/2022 and end on 11/13/2022.  We hope to see you all this fall!

Tight lines everyone!